How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Nevada
Medical transcription positions are growing at a rapid pace in Nevada, in contrast to other states. That makes this a great place to start a career in this important part of healthcare. A medical transcriptionist, also known as a medical scribe or healthcare documentation specialist, listens to physician dictations. They then make transcriptions of those recordings and also edit, review and ensure the accuracy of a variety of healthcare reports. Gaining the skills needed to work in this job is necessary but does not require earning a college degree.
What You Need to Be a Medical Transcriptionist in Nevada
You do not need any particular education, license or certification to work in this field in Nevada. However, you do need some training and a specific education in order to understand medical jargon and use transcription equipment. At a minimum you should have finished high school or earned a GED and completed a post-secondary program in medical transcription.
Training for Medical Transcriptionists in Nevada
Most medical transcription programs are online, but there is one on-campus certificate program in Nevada if you prefer to learn in a classroom setting.
- College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas. In the Las Vegas area you can complete this in-person training program to become a medical transcriptionist. You must complete 31 credits in courses that include English composition, the language of medicine, technical communications, pharmacology, laboratory tests, and transcription. You may complete the program part-time in five semesters or full-time in two semesters.
- Penn Foster, online. If you prefer the flexibility of an online program or are not in the Las Vegas area, consider Penn Foster. This program includes classes covering electronic medical records, medical billing, ethics and law, transcription and medical office procedures.
National Certification for Medical Transcriptionists
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) is a leading professional organization for certifying medical transcriptionists. You do not need certification to work, but there are many reasons to earn a credential: it validates your training; it makes you more employable; and it can help distinguish you from other job candidates. There are two types of credentials offered, each of which has a separate exam you must pass:
- Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist. This first level of certification is for new graduates who have less than two years of experience and have only worked in one specialty area.
- Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist. For the second level, you must have already achieved the first credential, have two years or more of work experience, and have experience in multiple medical specialties.
Salaries and a Booming Industry in Nevada
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there is a decline in medical transcription jobs across the country. Nevada, on the other hand, is seeing a big increase. According to Projections Central, the growth is strong, at 15 percent. You can expect to see numerous job openings in the state over the next several years.
Salaries in the U.S. are approximately $34,770 per year and $16.72 per hour for medical transcriptionists. Top earners make more than $51,000 per year, though, so there is room to make a better salary. In Nevada, the average salary is $16.56 per hour and $34,450 per year.
Starting Your Medical Transcription Career in Nevada
With such strong growth in the industry in Nevada, you should not have a hard time landing your first job in medical transcription. Las Vegas, Reno and the surrounding areas will have the most opportunities, but many medical transcriptionists also work remotely. Most of these professionals work either directly for medical facilities or for healthcare support services companies.
Here are some examples from recent job listings in the state to give you an idea of what is available: transcriptionist, Renown Health, Reno; medical scribe, ProScribe, Las Vegas; transcriptionist, Cleveland Clinic, Las Vegas; and medical scribe, Desert Orthopaedic Center, Las Vegas.